Last night John and I saw Bill Finn’s glorious A New Brain at Encores. We’d seen the show at its premiere in 1998 at Lincoln Center and loved it; this new version, directed by James Lapine, is superb. The show was inspired by events which actually befell Mr. Finn, when he underwent brain surgery. Somehow he’s turned this into a show that’s soaringly melodic, hilarious and deeply moving. A New Brain has a phenomenal cast, led by Jonathan Groff, Ana Gasteyer, Aaron Lazar and Dan Fogler. The show is so terrific that I hope it enjoys a life beyond this run of just a few days. I’ve also heard reports of an upcoming revival of Bill Finn’s masterpiece, Falsettos.
While we’re on the subject of wonderful things: you must read George Hodgman’s completely sensational Bettyville. It’s a memoir which covers George’s moving back to Missouri to care for his aging mother, and his years in Manhattan, but any plot summary can’t possibly do this book justice. It’s gorgeously and irresistibly well-written, and sinfully pleasurable.